The Domino Sugar Factory won't remain a hollowed-out building carcass for eternity after all, with Mayor de Blasio having successfully brokered a deal with Two Trees head Jed Walentas on the amount of affordable housing the $1.5 billion development will contain.
The agreement, announced yesterday, requires Walentas to include an additional 110,000 square feet of affordable housing space—a total of 700 units. (The original deal offered 660 affordable units out of 2,300.) In exchange, the city is expected to alter a zoning regulation that will allow Two Trees to build four 55 story buildings, about 20 stories higher than currently permitted.
Walentas, who previously expressed irritation at the idea of including more affordable housing in what, by Bloomberg-era standards, was already a generous plan, seems to have made peace with the compromise.
“We are so proud and pleased with what we’ve accomplished here," he said in a statement. "This won’t just be an ordinary development—it will be part of an integrated neighborhood that brings people of every income level together. We are proud to work with Mayor de Blasio’s team and the City Council to get this project across the finish line, get shovels in the ground, and deliver the housing and jobs this city needs."
Failure to reach an agreement would have been disappointing on both a neighborhood and city-wide level, Walentas having threatened to revert to previously-approved butt ugly designs planned by the previous developer. The development has already seen its share of road blocks—Two Trees bought the property two years ago after the original developers were forced to pull out after defaulting on loans. Additionally, collapse of the plan would have meant several hundred fewer units of affordable housing, to say nothing of the negative impact it would have on developers already wary of the new mayor and his leftist ideals.
The proposal will be voted on at Wednesday’s City Planning Commission meeting, and work on the first building is slated to begin in December.